Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from Labour after the equalities watchdog found the party had broken the law over its handling of anti-Semitism complaints.
In a day of drama, Labour leader Keir Starmer sacked his predecessor after Mr Corbyn rejected some findings by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and claimed the issue had been "dramatically overstated for political reasons"
The damning EHRC report found Labour was responsible for three breaches of equalities law during Mr Corbyn's tenure including unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.
The 130-page review identified serious failings in the Labour Party leadership in addressing anti-Semitism and an inadequate process for handling anti-Semitism complaints.
Mr Starmer branded the findings a “day of shame” for Labour and vowed to implement recommendations in full - including an independent complaints system.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism said it had submitted new complaints against Jeremy Corbyn and 15 other MPs, including ex-shadow cabinet members Diane Abbott and Rebecca-Long Bailey.
It said the report had "utterly vindicated" British Jews who had been accused of lying to smear the party.
Ex-Labour MP Luciana Berger, who quit the party last year over anti-Semitism, said: "The findings of the report today are damning, I don't think they could have been any worse than what we've heard and seen today."
The Jewish Labour Movement said suggesting complaints of antisemitism are "fakes or smears" was an act of antisemitism, and tackling this will be "the first test" of Keir Starmer's leadership.
JLM chair Dame Margaret Hodge said Jeremy Corbyn was in "permanent denial" but she stopped short of calling for him to be sacked as he was "irrelevant" and "yesterday's man".
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who spoke out against Mr Corbyn before the election, said the report was a "historic nadir for the Labour Party".
Here's what you need to know from the report.
1. Labour breached equality law three times
Today’s report has found Labour was responsible for three civil law breaches of the Equality Act:
* Political interference in anti-Semitism complaints, including by the leader’s office;
* Failure to provide adequate training to those handling complaints;
* Harassment through two high-profile members who made anti-Semitic statements, including Mr Livingstone.
The EHRC has served Labour with an “unlawful act notice” under section 21 of the Equality Act 2006.
Labour must prepare an action plan for “avoiding repetition or continuation of the Unlawful Acts” by December 10.
Below, we go into more detail about these findings.
2. Jeremy Corbyn’s office interfered in cases...
The report found unlawful political interference in anti-Semitism complaints “throughout the period of the investigation”.
In a sample of 70 complaint files, investigators found "23 instances of political interference by LOTO (Leader of the Opposition) staff and others.”
It was “part of a wider practice of LOTO involvement in disciplinary cases that were deemed ‘politically sensitive’”.
But there was also “a distinct practice in March–April 2018, when all antisemitism cases were referred to LOTO”.
“The Labour Party’s practice or policy of Political Interference in antisemitism complaints amounted to unlawful indirect discrimination against its Jewish members,” the EHRC said.
Mr Corbyn today said "I do not accept" all the EHRC's findings and claimed "my team acted to speed up, not hinder the process."
Alasdair Henderson, Board member lead for the investigation at the EHRC, said Mr Corbyn's claim that his team acted to speed up the process was valid, but still undermined the process.
3. … Including one against the leader himself…
The interference included a complaint against Jeremy Corbyn himself over an anti-Semitic mural he had commented on in 2012.
In March 2018 Mr Corbyn expressed “sincere regret” for objecting on Facebook, in 2012, to the removal of a mural which showed hook-nosed figures playing Monopoly on the backs of naked men.
The then-leader said he had not looked closely at the mural and therefore did not realise it was anti-Semitic.
In April 2018, an official complaint was made to the Labour Party’s about the incident.
But in an email to Labour’s Governance and Legal unit, Mr Corbyn’s office's staff said the complaint should be dismissed because it "seems to fall well below the threshold required for investigation".
The EHRC added: “LOTO staff amended and approved the GLU’s written response to the complainant to include details on Jeremy Corbyn’s actions in relation to the mural.
“LOTO staff therefore directly interfered in the decision not to investigate in this case.”
4. … And one against Ken Livingstone
The high-profile case of Ken Livingstone (more below) appeared to be one of those interfered with by the leader’s office, the EHRC revealed.
“There is evidence of LOTO staff being directly involved in the decision to investigate the second complaint of antisemitism made against Ken Livingstone,” the watchdog said.
“The Labour Party confirmed to us that a decision to ‘go to Disputes’, that is, to the NEC Disputes Panel, which was described as having been made ‘higher up’, was likely to refer to the decision having been made by LOTO and the General Secretary’s Office (GSO).
“It therefore appears that LOTO staff, and potentially GSO staff, interfered in the decision to investigate the conduct of Ken Livingstone.”
The report also found Labour committed “unlawful harassment" due to the actions of two "agents" - one of whom is former mayor of London Ken Livingstone.
The ex-mayor accused ‘the Israel lobby’ of a smear campaign to stigmatise critics of Israel as anti-Semitic, the EHRC said.
His statements “had the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for members, and prospective members, of the Labour Party, particularly those who were Jewish”.
6. And this constituted unlawful harassment by Labour itself
The second incident of "harassment" was by then-councillor Pam Bromley, who wrote online that anti-Semitism claims were "fake" and "now capitalism has got what it wanted".
Crucially, the EHRC ruled Labour was legally responsible for remarks by both Ms Bromley and Mr Livingstone because they were legally deemed “agents” of the party.
For Ms Bromley this was because she was a councillor, and for Mr Livingstone it was because he was a prominent member of the ruling NEC.
The two cases were only "the tip of the iceberg", said Alasdair Henderson, Board member lead for the investigation at the EHRC.
There were many other cases, including 18 "borderline" cases, where conduct was anti-Semitic but the members did not hold a formal role so Labour could not be legally responsible.
7. Jeremy Corbyn himself wasn’t accused of anti-Semitism
Today’s report did not find personal anti-Semitism on the part of Mr Corbyn, and no criminal law was broken by Labour.
EHRC executive director Alastair Pringle added: "In the samples we analysed, we didn't find Jeremy Corbyn responsible for any unlawful acts of antisemitism."
While the report names a string of individuals including Mr Corbyn in evidence about how cases were handled, its overall findings were generalised to the party.
8. But there were ‘serious failings in leadership’
The watchdog found “serious failings in leadership and an inadequate process” for dealing with complaints.
It added: “Although some improvements have been made to the process for dealing with antisemitism complaints, it is hard not to conclude that antisemitism within the Labour Party could have been tackled more effectively if the leadership had chosen to do so.”
Asked if Corbyn should be blamed, Mr Henderson said it went beyond the role of the former leader.
But he added: "As leader of the party, with evidence of political interference from within his office, he does have a responsibility ultimately for those failings.
9. And training was not good enough
The watchdog found that the lack of training for people handling anti-Semitism complaints indirectly discriminated against Jewish members until August 2020, by which time Mr Starmer was party leader.
It said the party had not developed or implemented adequate training in relation to anti-Semitism complaints, despite the matter being raised repeatedly internally since 2016.
The report said a lack of training "must have had a negative effect on the quality of complaint handling", particularly given some of the complexities when balancing free speech and anti-Semitic comments.